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Does Nawaz Sharif want to follow Altaf Hussain’s path?

The government has come down hard on opposition over “Pakistan Khappay” remarks made by PML-N stalwart Javed Latif following efforts aimed at canceling bail granted to the party’s vice president Maryam Nawaz in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

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The government has come down hard on opposition over “Pakistan Khappay” remarks made by PML-N stalwart Javed Latif following efforts aimed at cancelling bail granted to party’s vice president Maryam Nawaz in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

NAB, the country’s top anti-graft body, had moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) seeking the cancellation of bail. “Those who want to follow [MQM founder] Altaf Hussain’s path should remember the end of his journey too,” Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry warned while addressing a news conference flanked by Information Minister Shibli Faraz in Islamabad on Sunday.

Latif, while speaking to a private TV channel last night, had said that if anything happened to the daughter of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the party would not say “Pakistan Khappay” – a slogan raised by former president Asif Ali Zardari following the assassination of his wife Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

Referring to Hussain, who is residing in London on political asylum since early 90s, Fawad said both the MQM founder and Sharif were a “gift of 1985 elections” and trained by the same people, adding that both personalities were “non-political”.

“Neither the MQM founder nor Nawaz Sharif can return from London,” the minister said. “We are not here to label others traitors… defeat or victory are part of the electoral process, but that does not mean that one should start talking against the state,” he said. “Whatever Javed Latif was made to say has caused anger among the masses,” he maintained. Sharif, he suggested, should return Pakistan’s ‘looted wealth’ to avoid jail.

Fawad also claimed that Maryam Nawaz wanted to leave for London too but that the government was not going to let her go. The opposition, he noted, did not have any principles to stand on. “First they said they believed in open voting when signing the Charter of Democracy, then they chose to oppose the same [electoral reform],” he observed.

In the past, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, senior leader of PML-N and former Speaker National Assembly, has made some irresponsible statements while delivering a speech in the assembly. Sadiq alleged that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that “if we do not release Abhinandan, India may attack Pakistan”.

Indian media took Sadiq’s statement and celebrated it. Times Now, India’s TV channel, wrote on their website “’Pair kaanp rahe the, paseene…’: Pak leader describes FM Qureshi’s condition when Wg Cdr Abhinandan was held ”.

“I remember Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in the meeting in which Imran Khan had refused to attend and Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa came into the room, his legs were shaking and he was. Foreign Minister said for God’s sake let Abhinandan go, India’s about to attack Pakistan at 9 pm,” Mr Sadiq recounted the events of the meeting.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill has slammed Sadiq for issuing anti-Pakistan statements.

Notably, on 26 Feb, 2019 Indian planes had crossed the Line of Control and struck deep inside the Pakistani territory at Balakot (near Abbottabad, in the Pakistani province of Khyher Pakthunkhwa) prompting a counter-strike from Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Feb, 27. In the ensuing dogfight India lost two planes (a Mig-21 and an advanced Russian built SU-30) and subsequently Pakistan had closed its airspace to Indian planes for several weeks.

Read More: Nawaz Sharif’s anti-Pakistan interview and its cost: A snake in the grass?

Indian Pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan, captured by the Pakistani forces, was released as a goodwill gesture by Pakistan. However, in a bid to put pressure on the country’s establishment, the PML-N leader has apparently cooked up a story, said an official who spoke with GVS on the condition of anonymity.